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Frugal Festivities

15 ways to get into the Christmas spirit on a budget in North Wales during the cost of living crisis.

Find out where you can see a tractor covered in lights, post a postcard for Father Christmas and see reindeer – all for FREE right here in North Wales, this Christmas.

Christmas is upon us, I don’t know about you but choosing which Christmas event’s to take the kids to can be overwhelming not to mention expensive! Which present should I buy? Which Santa should we see? How can we get into the festive spirit without spending an absolute fortune? Here are some cheap Christmas days out you can enjoy on a budget.

Life is expensive enough at the moment. There are an overwhelming amount of Christmas activities to choose from, I have waded through them all and found the cheapest ways you can get into the festive spirit without breaking the bank.

November 13, 2022


A breakfast with Santa that won't cost the earth

At Hickories Smokehouse you only have to buy your children breakfast (£4.50 for maple pancakes) to enjoy their sleigh, snow machine and a visit to see Father Christmas himself – with a gift included. All of the staff dress up as elves and it has a really festive feel.

I love hickories with the kids anyway as they have a popcorn machine and the kids can go into their cinema room whilst you wait for your food. Not to mention they also have an activity sheet and crayons for the kids at the table.

This year is is the 10th & 11th December. This is a fantastic cheap Christmas day out.

The theatre doesn't have to be expensive at Theatre Clywd

Oh yes it does! Oh no it doesn’t. With most panto tickets costing around £15 per head it soon adds up. We love Theatre Clwyd’s rock and roll panto. You’ll find us there every year on my birthday it’s my favorite day of the year.

Theatr Clwyd has got an alternative to Christmas panto this year with their shows –

‘Christmas Tales with Grandad’

It is sure to warm your heart and give you the festive feels creating a sense of the fireside in the theatre, Granddad will welcome imaginative input from the audience as he weaves his own brand of heart-warming storytelling and festive cheer.

Running at various times from 9th – 11th December. £8 per ticket. Click the link below to book your ticket.

Wander around beautifully decorated Garden Centers

Immerse yourself into grotto heaven at your local garden centre and hear the reindeer sing! These garden centers below have wonderful displays of christmas trees and decorations and a something a little extra to fill your heart with Christmas joy.

Jackson’s Garden Center – wonderful Christmas grotto displays and singing polar bears and penguins.

Grosvenor Garden Center – A huge train and plenty of Christmas displays with singing reindeer.

We love spending a cheap Christmas day out at the garden centre.

Let the big man come to you!

Deeside round table have a Santa float that will drive past your house. Blasting out Christmas songs, it is an absolute highlight for our family. We love listening out and now we can track him on our phones!

Throw a couple of pence in the charity bucket and the volunteers give the kids some sweets and a wave from Father Christmas himself.

Check out the dates below to see when Santa will be down your street. This is a highlight of my free Christmas activities in North Wales.

Illuminated Tractor Run

A completely free event that looks to be a fantastic spectacle. The kids will love seeing all of the tractors festooned in Christmas lights.

Sunday 4th December 2022 – Tractors start at Llangollen Pavilion from 3.30pm to leave for the main street (Castle Street) in Llangollen at 5.00pm to drive Fron, Chirk, St Martins, Overton, Ruabon, Trevor and back to Llangollen.

You will be welcome to walk (free of charge) around the illuminated tractors standing on the road around the Pavilion until its time for the tractors to leave at 5.00pm

Sunday 11th December 2022 – Welshpool Illuminated tractor run – From 2pm. Starting at Welshpool Livestock Market where you can come for great photo opportunities with around 150 tractors. The illuminated tractors will then leave the market grounds and embark on a 30 mile round trip through Welshpool and some of its surrounding villages.

Sunday 18th December – Vale of Clwyd Christmas Tractor Run. Starting at Ruthin Market at 10am. Raising funds for the DPJ.

What a fantastic free Christmas activity in North Wales

See how many Santas you can spot.

For the first time last year I donned a Santa suit and joined hundreds of others in a Santa Dash. It is quite the sight and my little ones loved to see all of the Santa’s running through the streets. Find below the local Santa Dash’s –

Hawarden Santa Dash – Saturday 26th November at 11am – Meet at Gladstone Library for the 5k run. £10 entry includes a suit – follow the link below to get your entry in.

Llandudno 5K Santa Dash – Saturday 3rd December at 10am – Registration takes place at the Pier. Entry is £16 per adult and £10 per child which includes a suit. Follow the link below to get your entry in

Greenfield Valley 5K Santa Dash – Sunday 11th December at 10am – Registration takes place at Tesco Superstore Holywell. £12.45 per entry and includes a santa suit. Follow the link to get your entry in.

and if you don’t fancy running it, it is a wonderful event to take the kids to and give some moral support and a fantastic festive day out in North Wales.

Wander around the Christmas Markets

Frost fair, Christmas market. There are so many local business’ you can support this Christmas. Have a look at my local gift guide for more inspiration.

It always feels very festive to have a mooch around Christmas Markets, there is usually a Santa Ho Ho Ho-ing around and my kids love listening to the brass bands. I love spending a Christmas day out like this in North Wales.

Here are a few of my favourites –

Llandudno Christmas Extravaganza – From Thursday 17th November Trinity Square, Llandudno

Hawkesbury Community Centre Festive Artisan Market – Saturday 20th November from 11-3. CH7 3HA

Ruthin Christmas Extravaganza – Saturday 26th November from 10-4 – Ruthin Gaol

Greenfield Valley Victorian Christmas Market – 3rd December

Gresford Christmas Artisan Market – Sunday 4th December 11am

Mold Christmas Market – Sunday 4th December 11am – 6pm – Mold High Street

Ty Mawr Country Park Christmas Fair – Sunday 4th December from 12-3 – Meet Santa for £4 including a gift, stalls & Christmas trail (combine this with the Llangollen tractor run for a really festive cheap Christmas day out)

Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market – Wednesday 7th December

Wrexham Christmas Makers Market – Saturday 10th December 10-4pm at Ty Pawb

Get into the festive spirit of giving

It doesnt have to cost anything either. North Clywd animal rescue organise an annual dog walk on boxing day. They also have a Dog Show & Festive market on Sunday 27th November at Haford Equestrian Arena.

Erdigg are doing a reverse advent calendar too, on weekends Wrexham food bank will be collecting donations. Erddig has a wonderful festive trail that is perfect to keep the kids entertained and the house is decorated in a giant advent calendar.

Feed the Reindeer at North Hills Farm

North Hills Farm is completely free. It is open from November 18th until Christmas Eve from 10-6.

They have Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Blitzen and of course Rudolf. The whole heard of reindeer that you can feed and there is a coffee shack for hot chocolates and festive treats.

This is an absolute must for a free festive day out in North Wales

You can pay £15 for a family ticket to do a meet and greet with a talk from one of the reindeer handlers.

It is a wonderful place to visit with homegrown Christmas trees and Christmas carols playing in the background. I can’t think of a better way to get into the festive spirit for a free day out in North Wales this Christmas.

Christmas Carol Concerts

Christmas Showcase at Theatre Clwyd – Saturday 10th December 2022

Theatretrain’s pupils from Wrexham, Mold and Chester come together for a celebration of musical theatre with a Christmas twist. £10 per person.

Wander around all of the pretty lights

The Christmas Light Switch On are a lovely event within the community to feel festive and to come together to celebrate the start of the festive season, and it is completely free. Here are a few of the local light switch ons –

Wrexham Christmas Light Switch on – Thursday November 24th from 4.15pm at Eagles Meadow

Offa Light Switch on – Friday November 25th 2022 at 4pm – LL13 7LY

Denbigh Christmas Light Switch On – Friday 25th November 6pm – LL16 3AA

Rhyl Christmas Light Switch On – Saturday 26th November from 1pm – LL18 1HA

Mold Christmas Light Switch On – Monday 28th November 2022 at 3.30pm – CH7 1DQ

Holywell Christmas Light Switch on – Friday 2nd December 2022 – CH8 7TE

Llandudno Christmas Parade – Saturday 3rd December 2022 at 4pm – from Llandudno Train Station

A cheap day out for the whole family at Rhyl Miniature Railway

This is probably the most expensive day out I have mentioned. However it is a cheap steam train Santa Special. £12 per child and £4 per adult.

We loved visiting here when the boys were little and they are steam train obsessed to it is a great alternative to the big Santa Specials on a lot of the heritage railways.

The grotto is within the little museum, where there is a model railway and lots of interactive displays including a horn that you can toot toot. Obviously this is a favorite. Every child visits Santa one on one and gets a gift.

Chester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival

It’s just over the boarder but I didn’t want to exclude this extremely festive event. Chester Cathedral have nintety Christmas trees on display this year. From November to January the Christmas trees will sparkle and shimmer throughout Chester Cathederal.

They are decorated by local schools and local business’ with unique ornaments. Kids under 6 are free and adults and children are £2.50 per person.

Post a letter to Santa at Hawarden Farm Shop

Pick up a free postcard at Hawarden Farm Shop and post your letter to Father Christmas in this magical setting.

If you’ve read any of my blogs before you’ll know Hawarden Farm Shop is my favorite place to be in North Wales. It is magical at Christmas time. The smell of the bakery as you wander through the festive gifts and the crackle of the fire pits outside.

There’s even a fantastic wooden play area and games in the tin shed to enjoy whilst you write your letter. In the outdoor area Hawarden Farm Shop have put a post box for the kids to post their letters.

You have to grab a mince pie whilst you’re there too! There’s nothing else like it!

Hawarden Farm Shop are also putting on a kids christmas party – Alpine Adventures, it’s £10 per ticket so still fairly reasonable.

A festive week at Park in the Past. A unique community and heritage project in North Wales.

Their Christmas day out in North wales includes – A fairy lit woodland walk, drop in lantern making workshops and a grotto. This runs from 21st December 2022 – 24th December 2022.

They have a dog friendly cafe with festive drinks too. They are also collecting for a reverse advent calendar.

£2 per person entry and £5 for lantern making

Park In the Past

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November 13, 2022